The Faculty of Graduate Studies (FGS) and the Athabasca University Graduate Students’ Association (AUGSA) held the annual Graduate Student Research Conference (GSRC) virtually on October 14–15, 2022. This conference provided the opportunity for AU graduate students to present their impressive research, connect with the AU community, and engage in informative presentations and discussions.
This year’s conference proved to be another energizing and inspiring event. 45 student presenters, faculty members, guest speakers, participants, and volunteers came together virtually for this event. 105 people registered to attend the conference from across Canada, the United States, Japan, Peru, Slovakia, and others.
It takes a lot of commitment and organization to run this conference each year. A special thank you to the conference co-chairs Vikki Bellerose (FGS) and Meaghan Sullivan (AUGSA), Conference Coordinator, Kareena Hart, Krystal Zahara, the steering committee, abstract reviewers, the facilitators and countless other volunteers and sponsors. This conference would not have been a success without your spirit and generosity.
Friday evening opened with a welcome from Dr. Peter Scott, President of Athabasca University, followed by a keynote address from Dr. Andrew Perrin, Associate Vice President, Research. A panel presentation on Demystifying Research was held by faculty members, Dr. Vive Kumar, Dr. Janice Thomas, Dr. Josie Auger and Dr. Alex Clark and was moderated by Dr. Simon Sigue. The top three Abstract winners (sponsored by FGS) were announced – 1st place Joanie Maynard (MN) $250; 2nd place Danica Nolette (MN) $150; 3rd place Lindsay Macdonald (MHS) $100. Congratulations! AUGSA continued the evening with virtual scavenger hunt and a social. Five $75 Amazon gift cards were given away by AUGSA.
Dr. Shawn Fraser, Dean FGS, opened the conference on Saturday, followed by greetings from Dr. Matt Prineas, Provost and VP Academic, Athabasca University.
After lunch, we introduced our motivational speaker, Warren Macdonald for an inspirational talk about resilience along with guest speaker, Dr. Shauna Zenteno who provided some insightful thoughts around research at Athabasca University.
Student presentations were held throughout the day with the poster presenters available for in-person questions in the Expo booths at the end of the day. AU is exceptionally proud of our student presenters. The commitment of our students to their educational journey is always impressive. Students stated that the Graduate Student Research Conference increased the value of their AU education.
The day wrapped up with several AU and AUGSA swag packs, a Free Power Ed Course, and voting for the People’s Choice award.
The People’s Choice Award was voted upon and awarded to Audrey Susin, an MBA student, for her presentation on ‘Different Leadership Influence on the Deliberative Quality of Citizen Discussions in Different Arenas? Evaluation of Online Deliberation in New Zealand”. Audrey received a $100 Amazon Gift Card provided by AUGSA.
We received many comments from students indicating that they found all the talks remarkably inspiring and informative. A few quotes from the post conference survey are below:
- "A big thank you for hosting the 2022 GSRC. It was exceptionally well run and hosted."
- "It was a really good experience to help me zero in on my abstract. Nice seeing faces across the country on the Friday night activities too."
- "Thank you everyone for your hard work and support. It has been such a great experience."
- "Thank you, organizers! Fantastic conference."
- "It was a pleasure to attend and engage with our students. Congratulations on such a seamlessly executed and hugely successful event. I can’t wait for next year!"
- "This was the best virtual conference I’ve every been to."
- "Across speakers and presentations, I thought everything flowed so smoothly and efficiently! I was so impressed with the professionalism of all involved."
Planning for the 2023 Graduate Student Research Conference will begin in January and information will be updated on the conference website once it is confirmed.
We look forward to seeing you next year!